A Woman Will Lead the World Trade Organization for the First Time

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A woman will lead the World Trade Organization for the first time in its 25-year-old history. On October 8, the organization revealed the final two candidates for its new director-general: Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee.

"The result creates an historic precedent for the WTO in that it assures that the 7th Director-General will become the first woman to lead the organization," a statement from the WTO read. "These two candidates were chosen from a field of five that had advanced to the second round of consultations."

Both candidates have incredible resumes. 

Okonjo-Iweala, 66, has had two stints as Nigeria’s finance minister and a short stint as foreign affairs minister. Also a U.S. national, she has spent 25 years at the World Bank, ultimately becoming the managing director, the number two position in the hierarchy.

"I could not have made it without the prayers and support of all Nigerians and friends around the world," she tweeted.

If elected, she will also be the first African to lead the WTO.

Another candidate Yoo, 53, is South Korea’s current trade minister and also the first woman to hold that position. 

"We need a capable and experienced new leader who can rebuild trust and restore relevance of the World Trade Organization," Yoo tweeted. She has had more than 25-year long career in trade diplomacy.

The WTO will announce its head before Nov. 7.

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